Tamar Zewi, «The Syntactical Status of Exceptive Phrases in Biblical Hebrew», Vol. 79 (1998) 542-548
Exceptive phrases are usually considered appositions to the sentence parts from which they are excepted. This paper considers the syntactical status of exceptive phrases from a functional point of view. It indicates the similarities between exceptive phrases, extrapositions and cleft sentences. It compares the Biblical construction of exceptive phrases to that of Classical Arabic, and learns important facts from the syntactical status of the parallel Arabic construction as reflected in the Arabic case system. Considering all the evidence, the paper asserts that exceptive phrases after negative sentences actually present the new information exhibited by the speaker or writer, that is, the logical predicate or the comment of the sentence.
This paper examines the syntactical status of exceptive phrases following negative sentences in Biblical Hebrew. The most frequent pair of particles used for this syntactical construction is M) yk, but one also finds yk alone, ytlb, M) ytlb, and rarely qr and ytlwz 1. In many languages exceptive phrases after negative sentences are usually considered restrictive appositions to the sentence part from which they are excepted. Being appositions to a previous sentence part, exceptive phrases should consequently gain a syntactical status equal to that of the sentence part to which they stand as appositions. If an exceptive phrase is an apposition to a subject it is a subject, if it is an apposition to an object it is an object, if it is an apposition to an adverb it is an adverb, etc. The following are instances of exceptive phrases in Biblical Hebrew standing in syntactical apposition to various types of syntactical roles:
Nwn-Nb (#$whyw hnpy-Nb blk-M) yk #$y) Mhm rtwn-)lw
Not one of them survived, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun (Num 26,65) 2
wdbl l)r#&y Klm-t)-M) yk lwdg-t)w N+q-t) wmxlt )l
Dont attack anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel (1 Kgs 22,31)